on 13 October 2005
I am originally from Sheffield and must have see the Cabs' live about a thousand times in the late 70's and early 80's and this album captures that period extremely well. All the tracks are equally as good and the album is particularly good on headphones as there are a lot of layers to the tracks that youd don't hear as good over speakers. The album sounds as though it was 'recorded in black and white' if that's possible to say. It also very much reminds me of their gigs that often started and stopped without you realising it and had a strange, eerie edge to them. Excellent stuff that stands the test of time,
on 9 July 2008
Cabaret Voltaire's Mix Up, was one of the most inspirational music I found at the time. Once I heard this, it opened up the love for 'the other side of music'. The choreography of sounds and rhythms creating a view of its own. Yes, like a soundtrack. The distorted sounds in the music gives it a rough edge, but beauty is certainly there aswell. To me it was the most inspiring music to start Super 8 filming at the time. Once I put on this Mix Up and Voice of America, the images bubbled up, and has been put on film (later used together with other experimental/industrial bands and was a start off for me working with modern dance choreographers). This music is so strong, that you will be in a Cabaret Voltaire mood for a while...at least for the day. Since music from the 80's is still a hobby and a life-style to me, Cabaret Voltaire is still looking after me. They made such great records in the early 80's that I can recommend the newbies to start just here, and...please get the groove and the images of Cabaret Voltaire! It is also a perfect soundtrack for any mute tv-series or film on tv. Just put the record on and the sound from tv low or off...and you automatically start to wonder what the actors are actually on about. It all starts to look so cynically hilarious from the soundtrack point of view, that you never stop wondering about it. I shared this and 'entertained' a few friends of mine this way, it becoming great steamy evenings. Have it your way though ! But it IS a five star record, it 100% is !! Make it worthwhile.
Velvet underground in conception and execution - rather stylists who copied the note structure; hey there wimp pop - guitar pluckers? The Cabs purloined the ideas of the sixties irregular timepieces, then reworked their alchemic experimentation into this thin transparent slice. It is an early period, late 70's nostalgia for a dark age yet to arrive. Formed was in the Davey United electric pipeline, later broadcast with all the pathos and paranoia of a future yet to be born.
This is the original artifact of the blasted industrial era, harsh, abrasive and full of electric sparks; proto post Steam punk, decked in transistors rather than braided with Victorian valves or blast furnaces. As the modern production has become more sophisticated these slices of life take on a museum type aural quality. Vibrating more harshly as time recedes, as they finally reveal a vision of banality forever stretching forward into lands of grey and beige.
This has the buzz of the analogue twiddle, kept in tight formation with a formal bass, the template for much that was to come - Einsturzende Neubauten, Test Dept- the next generation of begoggled industrialists who took the elemental charts from this design. Later refashioned with a hammer and anvil to pound out another skeletal structure.
Time has marched on, and these bands, unfortunately reside in broom cupboards, firmly locked into these forums. At one point they were vital, odd visceral signposting a brutal direction to a different event. Smothered over later by the hand clappy disco euphoria of the 1980's. And so the Cabs eventually succumbed to the dictates of the shoe shuffle beat.
On this record they stick the pin into the Central Nervous System and you can hear the transformed scream.
on 30 May 2011
I first heard this album as a teenager, in 1979. It blew me away, and even today has such a darkness to it, yet it takes you to another place. CV remain "the" greatest Industrial band, and this is living proof of just how good these guys were. Fourth Shot is the best track, but it's the sheer inventiveness of the music that leaves a lasting image in the mind.Bliss.
on 17 April 2009
There are very few things I know about Voltaire: he was a great liberal social reformer and philosopher, and a big buddy of Montesquieu.
That's about it.
Quite where that leaves us as far as 'Mix-Up' is concerned, I'm really not sure.
Industrial Sheffield, part of the grim North of England (indisputable no 1 - Cabaret Voltaire cannot come from London); much rain, unemployment, grim humour, Sean Bean and despair. A fabulously fertile breeding site for a music (irrefutable no 2 - Cabaret Voltaire are not a pop music entity) such as 'Mix-Up'.
Smog seeps from the cd case when you open it; some-one speaks, steel, knives...
The first I heard from Cabaret Voltaire was 'Baader-Meinhoff' around the reign of Queen Victoria (disputable no 3 - Q V never went to Sheffield) and it had an effect along the same lines as 'Transmission' or 'Porno-Base'.
A loosening of brain cells to an accordance; a way of thinking which is easy to calmly analyse now - but when you're a boy...you leave the lights on.
Yet again all experimental roads lead to 23 Skidoo and the monolithic 'Seven Songs' (hopeful no 4 - 'Seven Songs': I will cease to be obsessed by it), and although 'Mix-Up' is less of a party, they share kinship in the most observable way. Art school pseudo-punk white noise, discordantly sieved through Can and Suicide and the results seized on by self-satisfied, university educated, middle-class music journalists - and projected.
'Kirlian Photograph' opens 'Mix-Up' and leads the way for the accompanying 'Eyeless Sight,' 'Photograph' and 'Capsules' as the album's central spine (grateful no 5 - that the titles give so much of the album away and saves the reviewer having to think of words).
This is one of a number of Cabaret Voltaire albums (indispensable no 6 -'Voice of America') which any great sensible will buy immediately and quizzically imbibe to oblivion.
Voltaire probably enjoyed the classics, but I don't know what he'd make of damp Sheffield and a group of 'musicians' who distrust the very fundamental concepts of melody and cohesion.